05 December 2008 19:10 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US recycling rates for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) rose in 2007, indicating better prospects for new collection and increasing demand for recycled flake and pellet, an industry analyst said on Friday.
The National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) and the Association of Post-Consumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) published their annual study saying 1.396bn pounds (633,215 tonnes) of PET bottles were collected in the United States in 2007, the highest PET container collection volume ever and a 10% increase over 2006.
“It is encouraging to see another increase in the volume of containers collected in 2007 and in the PET recycling rate,” said NAPCOR Chairman Tom Busard.
NAPCOR and APR attributed higher PET recycling rates to shifting public and corporate policy towards sustainability, as well as a dramatic rise in energy values which kept virgin plastic resin prices high.
“We anticipate that supply availability and demand will both increase in 2008 and going forward,” said Dennis Sabourin, executive director of NAPCOR.
“Sustainability is beginning to take hold. Companies are now saying ‘what can we do to drive recyclables out of the waste stream,’ ” he said.
The news was not all positive, however.
In 2007, for the first time, Chinese traders purchased more US post-consumer PET bottles than US reclaimers, the NAPCOR/APR study said. This stifled investment in US assets and resulted in less reclamation capacity in 2007 compared with 2003.
“The world economic crisis is having an impact on the amount of recycled material moving and the price being paid for these materials. China is right in the middle of that, and we do expect that more recycled PET will be used in the US as China - who buys on the world market - looks at their own economics and utilises more local resources,” Sabourin said.
NAPCOR determined that the total number of pounds of PET bottles and jars available for recycling in the US in 2007 was 5.683bn, up by 5% from 5.424bn pounds in 2006.
The report noted that growth of PET bottles and jars sold in the US slowed in 2007 on the back of lightweighting efforts, specifically in still-water containers, but got a boost from the isotonics, teas, energy drinks and wine segments.
The net result of these various product categories was US market growth of about 4.8%, down from 6.9% in 2006, NAPCOR said.
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